A series of soundscape compositions, based on edited (and sometimes processed) field recordings.
1. Shick shack. A radio art piece, which features recordings made in Australia and in Cheshire, where my family is from. The piece explores the story of William Buckley, who was transported to Australia from rural Cheshire, as described in the book ‘Strandloper’ by Alan Garner. Broadcast on Resonance FM in 2002 as part of the Houyhnhnm Tales series produced by the Sonic Arts Network.
2. Elements. A project funded and supported by the Poole Arts Development Unit, aiming to make art accessible to people accessing various care centres in Poole. A series of visual arts workshops created 16 banners using mixed media, exploring the theme of the four elements. This soundscape composition features recordings made during the workshops, a group ‘soundwalk’ event along the shore at Sandbanks, Poole, and poetry created and recited by Paula Brown, together with field recordings made in the Poole area during early 2005. The composition was featured in a multi-media exhibition at Longfleet United Reform Church, Poole, at which the banners were presented.
3. Home from home. October 2007. Soundscape composition and installation commissioned by Poole Arts Development Unit, 2007, presented in a month-long exhibition at the Lighthouse Arts Centre in Poole. The piece featured interviews with local residents and homeless people in a range of situations and places around the town, focusing on their opinions about where they live. In addition an interactive sound installation was presented in Lighthouse, using recordable doorbells placed on cafe tables, to provide people with an opportunity to leave their own comments about what it’s like to live in Poole.
4. Last broadcast from the top of the world. October 2006. Bruce Herrod was a mountaineer and film-maker, who successfully climbed Everest in 1996, the fulfillment of a long-held ambition. Sadly, on his descent, he fell to his death at the Hillary Step. This piece is based entirely on sounds derived from a last radio broadcast that Bruce made from the summit. Given what happened afterwards, his words are almost unbearably poignant. Having accompanied Bruce on a previous expedition, I composed this piece as a small tribute to him. As well as reaching the top of the world, the ultimate achievement of his life, he also reached the summit of what is a sacred place. To Tibetan Buddhists, the name of the mountain is Qomolangma, meaning Mother Goddess of the Universe. A central belief of Buddhism is that life is infinite, and death a transition, something I have tried to explore in this piece. The final section is filtered to the pitch of F-sharp, believed to be the resonant pitch of mountain landscapes. Featured on the Unsafe Sonic Art CD.
Thanks to Lynn Davy (voice) and Peter Anderson (introduction, didgeridoo, Australian field recordings) on Shick shack; Paula Brown (voice) on Elements.